The UFC lightweight division waits for no man, including champion Conor McGregor.
As McGregor takes a dip in the boxing pond, while banking a boatload of money in the process, the UFC has decided to move on without their cash cow. On Tuesday, UFC president Dana White said Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee will battle for the vacant interim lightweight belt at UFC 216.
White was unsure if the title tilt will headline the October 7 event inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
It is unknown if the victor will be gifted a title unification bout in their next outing against McGregor.
This marks the second time Ferguson will get to win the manufactured crown. He was slated to face fellow top contender Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 209, but the Russian was forced to withdraw at the last minute due to weight cutting issues.
It is unknown why White didn’t try giving Ferguson vs. Nurmagomedov another go. Then again, White’s known to hold grudges so we probably have our answer without having to ask the question.
Ferguson is the division’s hottest fighter having rattled off nine consecutive wins, finishing off six of those victims before the final horn. “El Cucuy” was most recently seen taking a decision win over former UFC lightweight champ Rafael Dos Anjos in November.
Lee has been nearly as efficient making his way up the steep lightweight totem pole. He’s won eight of his past nine scraps, including five straight. June’s submission over Michael Chiesa is his most impressive W to date.
Here are the athletes currently slated to compete in the event:
Bobby Green vs. Lando Vannata
Beneil Dariush vs. Evan Dunham
Thales Leites vs. Brad Tavares
Magomed Bibulatov vs. John Moraga
Marco Beltran vs. Matt Schnell
Mark Godbeer vs. Walt Harris
Nik Lentz vs. Will Brooks
Kevin Lee vs. Tony Ferguson (For vacant interim UFC lightweight title)